Arrive afternoon on less crowded day?

My choices for visiting EP are arriving after 1pm on a crowd level 4 or rope drop for a full day on crowd level 8. Traveling with tween and teen so bigger rides are a must, but mom also wants to hang at the food and wine festival! Advice?


I will forever choose a full day at Epcot. That being said, if your kids are happy with just Soarin’, Test Track, Mission Space, and Frozen, you could do the 1pm arrival - particularly if they are allowed to run off to ride on their own.

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Welcome to the forum!

I think it really depends on how many days you’ll be there, what the crowd levels are on the CL8 day at epcot, and what else you want to see at epcot. You can get a lot done on a low crowd afternoon at epcot!

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There’s no wrong choice here, but I will say Epcot is the one park where I don’t sweat making it for RD. I’ve never arrived at peak of day mind you.

One good thing, if you arrive at one, a good chunk of that crowd will have moved on to WS at that time of day.

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Thanks all. Leaning towards the less crowded day and going right to the park from the airport. Last time we were there was a low level crowd day and it was really enjoyable - hoping to recreate that experience even if means something gets left off the list. :upside_down_face:

FYI – A common misconception about Crowd Levels is that they are an indicator of the number of people in each park. However, they are an indicator of average queue waits at the park.

A CL 1 can feel like a CL 4 in terms of park capacity, but the queues may be moving quickly. Conversely, you can be in a CL 9 park that feels like a CL 5 because the streets aren’t packed. However, all the queues are super long.


I would choose the full day. With a solid plan, you will get done what you want to get done and have more time later in the day to chill and enjoy Food & Wine.

I would choose the lower CL afternoon…you’ll have plenty of time. In early May, my DD19 and I arrived at EP after 11:30am used 2 of our 3 FPPs by 1pm. Started touring the World Showcase and escaped the heat and humidity at 2:30 by dining and chillin’ in Marrakesh Restaurant in Morrocco. From after 4pm to closing we had plenty of time to see the rest of the park with some repeats on Soaring and TT. Highlight: the avocado margarita at La Hacienda de La Angel.

I’d say the full day for 2 reasons. First, a flight delay could turn your 1 pm arrival into a 4 pm arrival or later. Second, the crowd level predictions aren’t guaranteed. What if that’s a day TP has it wrong and your half day at CL4 turns out to be a half day at CL7? If you were deciding between 2 full days at those CLs of course it makes sense to do the lower CL, but in this scenario I think the half day relies too much on everything going right.

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Good thoughts. Another thing that popped in my head while following this thread is just the nature of WS during a festival. I could, definitely, do EP in half a day if I just wanted to hit attractions - that is simply a matter of a good touring plan; but so much of WS is taking the time to explore and enjoy - and that is just something that takes time, otherwise your risk it feeling rushed.